Promoting Collaborative, Creative, Cross-Cultural Community Research Led by Youth
Youth are a driving force for social change. Through collaborative creations, they share critical perspectives about their communities’ needs. But with the growing popularity of participatory youth-centred arts and social justice research, there is a need to take a closer look at the conditions for and limits of enacting social change with youth.
Dr. Amanda Wager, Canada Research Chair in Community-Engaged Research, seeks to shed light on how youth use the arts to reimagine and create cross-cultural possibilities. As an immigrant in various global communities herself, she approaches community-based research as a reciprocal process, with community members as expert knowledge keepers.
Ultimately, her research program supports the creation of a youth-led community action research centre for the arts. The goal of such a centre would be to increase youth leadership and enhance young people’s ability to facilitate cross-cultural relationships with local Indigenous, non-Indigenous and international communities. It would also contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how to do research with and among young people who are using creative practices to challenge injustices.
Wager‘s research integrates young people’s voices, leadership and arts-based methodologies to root and grow systemic change from within communities themselves. The youth who participate in her research will investigate topics that further their critical thinking, civic engagement, cultural knowledge and leadership skills in community research, locally and beyond.